It’s been quite a start to the fall TV season for Whitney Cummings C’04. Both the show she helped create (2 Broke Girls on CBS) and the show she created, wrote and stars in (Whitney on NBC) debuted last month, and both were picked up last week for full seasons.
Then again, Cummings is no stranger to making big splashes in big ponds. She raced through Penn in three years and immediately began performing stand-up comedy after graduating in 2004. She also joined Ashton Kutcher’s candid camera-style show Punk’d that year, helping to prank celebrities including Julia Stiles, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vivica Fox. By the end of 2008, she’d appeared on Variety’s list of “10 Comics to Watch” and performed lots of stand-up, including on the late-night HBO stand-up series Down and Dirty with Jim Norton and on Last Call With Carson Daily. She had also turned 25.
Cummings soon hit the Comedy Central Roast scene, skewering David Hasselhoff, Donald Trump, Joan Rivers, and of course, all her fellow comedians. Recognizing her growing popularity, Comedy Central offered Cummings a one-hour special. Whitney Cummings: Money Shot premiered in August 2010. Here’s a clip:
Some love Cummings for her bawdiness. (From a recent Tweet: “For a woman being on top during sex is like riding a bicycle: you never do it after college.”) Others admire her biting humor. (From the Donald Trump Comedy Central Roast: “Donald, you are gross, nobody likes you, but you come back every couple of years and nobody knows why. You’re like the McRib.”) And still others praise her penchant for self-deprecation.
That unique blend of humor may explain how she’s managed to launch two successful sitcoms simultaneously this year. 2 Broke Girls, which she worked on with former Sex and the City writer/director Michael Patrick King, follows two waitresses who become roommates. It’s the classic odd-couple pairing–out-of-touch rich girl who’s lost everything and no-nonsense, street-smart girl who’s (unsurprisingly) the more experienced waitress. Here’s the preview CBS put together (complete with Wharton mention):
Cummings’ second new show, Whitney, is a relationship ensemble comedy that’s been compared to Friends. Here’s a taste of that one: